Saturday, March 04, 2017

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Magic (1980)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This 1980 video depicts Olivia Newton-John as a performer in small club. For the past few years, she's been performing regularly at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. Have you ever been to Las Vegas? Oh, many times. It's such a great value for booze and food and glitz and people watching.  I'm going back this November to celebrate my 60th birthday in this delightfully ridiculous building.

The New York, New York Hotel and Casino

 2) Many tourists who want to get away from the glitz of Vegas travel less than 20 miles to visit Red Rock Canyon. This national park is known for its hiking trails, which provide a view of the desert flora and red rock peaks. Tell us about a time you were impressed by natural beauty. Every time I look out onto Lake Michigan, I'm like the Grinch. I feel my heart grow just a wee bit. It's a great Great Lake.

3) One of the best-reviewed restaurants in Las Vegas is Andiamo Italian Steak House. When you order a steak, how do you request it be cooked: rare, medium rare, medium, medium well or well done? Medium well.

4) Olivia Newton-John's father was an officer in MI5, the UK's secret service. Sam's most recent encounter with the law didn't have much drama or intrigue: she asked a cop for directions to the highway. Tell us about the last time you spoke to an officer of the law. Thursday evening I was informally questioned by a police officer about the disappearance of my a neighbor with dementia. She's still missing, which makes me sad.

5) ONJ was awarded the OBE -- Order of the British Empire -- by Queen Elizabeth in honor of her contributions to the arts. Here's your opportunity to boast. What is something you've done lately that you received praise for? Being fun and funny. We had layoffs this past week, and a coworker who sat next to me all day/every day really misses me because I was fun to be around.

6) A breast cancer survivor, Olivia helped found a cancer center in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia. When you think of Australia, what comes to mind? Kangaroos.

7) "Magic" was one of the top-selling records of 1980. Also that year, Post-It notes debuted. Do you enjoy shopping for office supplies, or do you consider it a chore? Yes! I don't know why, but I love wandering those aisles, looking at pencil sharpeners and binder clips.

8) In 1980, the NASA space probe returned the first photos of Saturn back to earth. Do you believe intelligent life forms from other planets are  trying to learn more about us? I believe it. But I don't think of it much and don't really care. I like this planet.

9) Random question: Are you more confident in your looks or your intelligence? My smarts.


Good news, bad news

First, the good news. Ever since the summer of 2015, there's been a ton of new construction in my neighborhood. A new, two-tower apartment building is now open and leasing. The big, multi-use complex -- restaurants/stores/office space/parking* -- is more than half done. Then there's the humongous, 200+ unit apartment building (and Target store) that was proposed back in November. Apparently the developers got all the approvals and ground will be broken "soon."

This means jobs. Lots of jobs. Construction jobs. Then maintenance jobs and retail jobs. Yea! My community is enjoying a renaissance. And my condo, the most expensive thing I will ever purchase, has increased in value. Yea! (Thanks, Obama.)

Now, the bad news. I got my property tax assessment. As my neighborhood becomes hotter, the value of my home goes up. In 2017, I'm looking at an increase of 38%. Gulp. There are exemptions available. I must look into the application process. I want to pay my fair share -- it's the moral/karmic/intellectual cost of being a liberal -- but according to this letter from the Cook County Assessor, there may be ways to legally discount the amount I pay.

*Parking is a huge-ass big deal in my neighborhood! Most of the older apartment buildings and condos, built in the 1950s or before, only have one parking space per unit and most households now have more than one car.